Workers’ Compensation and the NYS Disability Law
New York State Disability
Disability benefits are temporary cash benefits paid to an eligible wage earner, when he/she is disabled by an OFF THE JOB injury or illness. The Disability Benefits Law provides weekly cash benefits to replace, in part, wages lost due to injuries or illnesses that do not arise out of or in the course of employment. Although New York State Disability is generally for off-the job injury or illness, there are exceptions:
If you have received a written rejection of your Workers’ Compensation claim (contested or controverted), and you have been disabled from working for more than five days, you may apply for New York State Disability Benefits and you may continue to pursue your Workers’ Compensation claim at the same time. Disability benefits are also paid to an unemployed worker to replace unemployment insurance benefits lost because of illness or injury.
This temporary disability benefits system is administered by the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board, and most plans are jointly financed by you and your employer. An employer is allowed to collect contributions from its employees to offset the cost of providing benefits. Disability covers almost the same workers as the Workers’ Compensation system. To qualify for the disability benefit, you must have worked at least 30 days.
Differences between NYS Disability Benefits and Workers’ Compensation:
- Disability benefits include cash payments only. Medical care is the responsibility of the claimant. It is not paid for by the employer or insurance carrier. Workers’ Compensation pays all medical costs associated with the work-related injury.
- Disability wage payments are 1/2 of a claimant’s average weekly wage, up to a set maximum. Workers’ Compensation benefits are 2/3 of your weekly salary up to a set maximum.
- Disability payments are limited to 26 weeks. Workers’ Compensation payments continue for the duration of the illness/injury.
- Disability payments are not made until the eighth day of disability, and you must file your claim within 30 days of disablement. Workers’ Compensation cash payments begin after you have been out of work for seven days and you have two years to file a claim.
Filing a Claim for NYS Disability Benefits
If you are currently employed, or if you have been unemployed for less than four weeks from the date the disability began, file the claim with your employer or his/her insurance carrier, using form DB-450. This form is available on-line (www.wcb.state.ny.us) or you may obtain a copy for the nearest Workers’ Compensation Board district office. Keep a copy of this form to submit again if your claim is not paid properly.
If you have been unemployed for more than four weeks from the date the disability began, file the claim with the Disability Benefits Bureau, using form DB-300.
You must file your claim within 30 days after you become disabled. If you file late, you will not be paid for any disability period more than two weeks before the claim is filed.
You must be under the care of a physician, chiropractor, podiatrist, psychologist, dentist or certified nurse midwife in order to qualify for benefits. Your health care provider must complete and sign the “Health Care Provider’s Statement” as proof of your disability.
Before filing your workers’ comp claim, be sure that you have completed and signed the “Claimant’s Statement” and your health care provider or practitioner has completed and signed his/her portion. Submit this information promptly to avoid delaying your claim.